New York State’s General Obligations Law (5-326) states that certain waivers are void if they work against public policy. Public policy encompasses a whole section of the law where public-facing businesses need to take reasonable actions to ensure the safety of the public.
This is useful for anyone asking the above question, because generally it means that even if the gym or fitness center had you sign a waiver saying you cannot sue if injured there, you often still can sue if injured because your right to safety is protected by the Public Policy laws -- which supersede any waiver you signed.
The same is true for amusement parks, where the park has an obligation for certain safety standards regardless of waivers they make people sign.
There are exceptions to this, such as when you visit somewhere deemed an instructional facility with an independent trainer, such as a martial arts studio. In those instances, injuries you may sustain during instruction are indeed generally your own responsibility.
An Injury Lawsuit With A Gym May Be Simpler Than You Think
In addition to the Public Policy law explained above, sometimes the waivers fitness centers and gyms use are quite frankly not written very well.
One example is a case we worked on where the gym’s waiver even spelled out that the user could not bring a lawsuit against the gym unless there was clear negligence.
In that situation, their own waiver provided the exact context the user needed, so even if the waiver would’ve been enforceable otherwise, it would’ve done nothing to prevent their lawsuit regarding injuries from the gym’s negligence.
A High Success Rate of Favorable Negligence Settlements Without Going To Trial
Our track record has been that 95% of our negligence cases resolve in favorable settlements for our clients without ever having to go to a lengthy trial process.
If you’ve sustained an injury in a gym, fitness center, amusement park, or other public facility -- even if you’ve signed a waiver -- call us today to explore your options!